working from home time management tips
Working from home time management involves a whole new set of skills

Working from home time management ideas

Time management is about the effective use of your time to achieve objectives. Now that so many people have had their work thrust into their home, here are some ideas to help. Working from home time management ideas can work for you when you think about how they could apply. This means taking the ideas and seeing how they could work in your specific circumstances.

These ideas do not necessarily work if you have kids at home. That’s a whole different set of additional challenges. 

Don't let the task fill the time

The principle of the task filling the time is simple. If you have one hour the task will take one hour. If you have two hours, it will take two hours. When working from home this can be a disaster, especially if you allow the length of your day to expand.

So what do you do to stop this happening? Simply decide on how long you are going to allow a task to take and drive yourself to achieve this.

Try - Review - Learn - Adapt

Whichever specfic time management idea you try the principles are the same:

  1. Try the new idea 
  2. Review how it has worked, or not worked.
  3. Learn from what has happened. Avoid just saying, “that didn’t work”. Very often ideas need to be fine tuned to make them work in different situations. Ask yourself, “what have I learnt from that?”
  4. Adapt your skills based on what you have learnt, so that you find techniques that work for you.


One of the biggest working from home time management tips is in building structure into your day.

We’ve worked with so many people who have found their working hours have sky rocketed since March 2020. But has their effectiveness? And what about their mental health?

Structure means deciding at what time your day starts and ends. Of course there may be exceptions when you need to deviate from this structure, but generally you will try to stick to it.

For many people this will mean something like 9.00am – 5.00pm especially if you have a client facing role. But the key is to stick to this. Not to drift into working much later.

If you have an accommodating employer and the work allows, this could mean working untypical hours. 6.00am – 10.00am and then 4.00pm to 6.00pm for example.

working from home time management ideas
Transitioning from home to work and back again is crucial

Transition from home to work and from work to home

Having a way to transistion from home to work at the start of your day, and then back again at the end of the day, can be really useful. This is because it is so easy for the day to drift from one thing to the next. Getting your mind ready for work helps to get focus and improve performance. And equally getting your mind ready for home, not necessarily relaxing but just not work, is also more productive.

You can use anything from starting by organisnig your workspace at the start and then tidying up at the end.

Walking to and from work is a great idea, as it builds exercise into your day.

Reading a relevant work newspaper can be a good way to start the day. And then a magazine at the end.

Manage expectations

When you work with clients, collegaues, your manager, even your family or those living in the same place, you are constantly setting their expecations on a whole variety of behaviours. How punctual you are. Do you keep your promises. Are you a messy worker. Are you efficient. These may well have changed since beginning working from home and need resetting.

A great working from home time management tip is to take each one of these and decide how you want things to be. Then you have to push yourself to deliver. My tip is to take one at a time and work on it for a week or two.

Manage yourself

Imagine another you sitting or standing next to your work area. They are the time manager of you. You do the work, but they oversee how you do the work in terms of time management.

For this to work you need to be honest with yourself and look at all aspects of your work and the underlying behaviours behind each one.

working from home exercise
Exercise is very important for effective time management


If you haven’t heard about the importance of exercsie for mental health when working from home, then you must have been living in cage. But it also has a big impact on time management. It helps your ability to focus, concentrate and manage distractions. It helps you with feelings of well being and motivation.

Exercise can mean yoga, going for a walk, running, weights, stretches, pilates and any other form of physical activity.

If your not sure of the benefits of exercie my tip is to try it for a week and reflect.

Work on your time management every day

Take 5 minutes from your day, every day, to reflect and consider your approach to time management. Time management is a skill which can be developed and improved. This can only happen if you give it some focus, because that’s how we learn and get better at something. Just 5 minutes should be enough over the next weeks and months, for you to see improvement.

Understand your personality

So much of your approach to time management is driven by your personality. Some of us pay great attention to detail, others don’t. Some just like to just get things done, others prefer to go slower and more methodically. Some like variety, others prefer routine.

Check out our personality questionnaire, the ITD Work Styles Model, to help you reflect on you.

For training on managing your time please check out our

Personal Efficiency Training

Time Management Training

Working from home time management tips